Federal Web metrics group seeks input

A working group of the Web Managers Advisory Council is seeking participation from other federal Web managers interested in Web metrics. The 16-member group intends to compile and post information about the nascent science of Web analytics.

'We're looking for people who are willing to share their successful use of metrics with others in the federal government,' said Joe Pagano, who is group co-chairman, as well as the Internet operations group coordinator for the Library of Congress. 'We want them to help us create some materials and references for others to use.'

The group is creating a topical section about metrics for webcontent.gov. The topical section will explain why the use of metrics is important in government Web sites, and what the various options are in metrics tools. It may also develop a compendium of best practices for analyzing Web traffic and creating meaningful reports. Pagano hopes to post some material later this month and add more in the upcoming months.

Web server software typically keeps logs of what pages are requested, when they were requested and what addresses they are sent to. If aggregated and studied, these logs can help Web managers better understand how visitors use their site. In addition to this basic log data, Web managers can also use surveys and advanced analytical tools to better understand their users as well. Pagano said he has witnessed a growing interest in the federal IT community about how to make the best use of Web metrics.

In addition to working with this task group, Pagano also co-chairs the Federal Intranet Content Managers Group, a collection of 60 federal intranet content managers. This group holds monthly meetings and discusses topics over a mailing list. 'It's an opportunity to see people who are involved in intranets to see other intranets, which you don't normally get to see,' Pagano said.

Individuals interested in participating in either group may contact Pagano at (202) 707-2488. The Web Managers Advisory Council was originally called the Web Content Management Working Group, and was established by the CIO Council's Interagency Committee on Government Information.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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